54 truck accidents recorded in KZN on the N2 in 12 months

Head on collision between a truck and a bakkie.

File image of an accident on the N2 in Pongola involving a truck and a bakkie.

Published Mar 20, 2024


Durban – The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport has said more than 400 000 trucks use the N2 route between Richards Bay and Pongola, and there have been 54 truck accidents reported in the last 12 months.

The department, in response to a question from the DA at the provincial legislature, said more than 400 000 trucks had been screened at the Eteza Weighbridge between January 2023 and January 2024.

“A total of 453 826 (trucks) from Pongola to Richards Bay were screened during this period and 422 292 trucks were screened from Richards Bay to Pongola.

“A total number of 54 accidents were recorded in the last 12 months on the N2 between Pongola and uMhlathuze, 20 at Pongola, 17 at Mtubatuba and 17 at Empangeni,” the department said.

It added that they have 19 RTI members monitoring the situation on the N2 between Richards Bay and Pongola.

“Of these, we have six members that assist with truck staging and 13 members that assist with truck enforcement at Pongola.”

It said traffic is also monitored at Mtubatuba, Jozini and Nongoma as part of daily law-enforcement activities.

“A dedicated team of 12 law enforcement officers are deployed fulltime to deal with traffic congestion on the N2.

“This deployment is continuously assessed to meet with the fluctuations of traffic congestion.”

DA MPL Martin Meyer said that the KZN Department of Transport’s response reveals that the truck congestion on the N2 between Pongola and Richards Bay is continuing unabated.

Meyer said the 19 RTI officials were not enough to carry out law-enforcement on the 205km stretch of road.

“This is after the department acknowledged that there have been 54 truck-related accidents between Pongola and Richards Bay.

“This does not include the horror 2022 accident in Pongola when a truck ploughed through a learner transport killing 20 people,” he added.

Meyer said that these trucking volumes also severely damage the road infrastructure, leaving municipalities like Pongola and uMhlathuze to pick up the bill for infrastructure damage.

“The DA in King Cetshwayo (district) therefore calls on the Department of Transport to increase the number of RTI officers on this vital route, and to within three months come up with a viable plan.”

Steven Moodley, IFP KZN spokesperson on transport, said that the party reiterates its urgent call to government, in particular the transport authorities, to consider investing more in rail transport infrastructure.

“This will serve to significantly reduce road accidents caused by trucks, which are mainly used for the transportation of goods,” said Moodley.

He said the party believes that investing in rail freight services will not only curb truck accidents and ease traffic burden on road networks, but it will also enhance the quality and longevity of roads.

“It is an undisputed fact that trucks operating on our roads are major contributors to road carnage, with devastating effects on many families,” said Moodley.

Moodley added that the transport department should also look at urgently developing a dynamic, longterm and sustainable land use and multi-modal transportation framework.

“We cannot continue losing innocent lives on our roads due to reckless and negligent truck drivers.

“The transport authorities must also deal decisively with reckless driving and other traffic violations.

“Traffic police must be deployed 24/7 to ensure that all road rules are being adhered to,” he added.

Gavin Kelly, CEO of the Road Freight Association, said that the incident rate was acceptable given the total number of trucks moving.

“What should be happening, whether there are crashes or not), is continued and frequent roadworthy checks, control of speed in identified spots where speed is a factor, driver hours and registration checking, and monitoring of moving violations by all vehicles.”